Back in 2000 I ran my first race.  It was a marathon, and I was shocked and surprised at the emotions that I experienced during the race.  It was fun, and energizing, and the worst thing I had ever done in my life and impossible, and unachievable, and I told myself, “I am quitting at the next water stop, and I will never do one again.”

I crossed the finish line and immediately started planning the next one.

Twelve years and over 50 races later I still experienced EACH of those emotions during every race. Except my last race:  The Mallorca Half Marathon in October 2012.   For those hours, I had a Reason2Race: Bel Inizio.

Bel Inizio is an all-volunteer 501(c) 3 that improves the self esteem of women in recovery by teaching them about nutrition and exercise.  The Bel Inizio athletes graduate by walking or running a 5K!

Over the span of two years, I have helped 10 groups of women complete a 5K.  In my estimation almost all of the women experienced discouragement, fatigue, soreness, and the same strong desire to quit that others feel when training for a marathon. Unfortunately, these same women have had these same emotions many times in their life, with drugs, homelessness, and family.  Usually they do quit. They just give up.  But with the Bel Inizio athletes crossing the finish line in their honor, they did not quit.  For many of them it is the first commitment they made and stuck to in their life.

My Reason2Race in Spain was Bel Inizio. It was not my strongest race or my fastest race, but it was my best race.  With Bel Inizio backing me and each of those recovering women in my heart, my smile was big.

Thank you Bel Inizio volunteers for the lives you are changing and thank you Reason2Race for showing me how I can continue to help.